A startup making the internet a safer place for children has raised £2.3m in just five months and is now being sold in stores right across the UK. BQ found out how the husband and wife team behind Azoomee are making it happen…
The internet can be a dangerous place for young children and many parents are reluctant to let their children roam free online.
But with technology shaping the world we live in more and more each day, many academics are arguing that we must get children tech savvy from a young age.
So where do we draw the line? How do we help our kids get off to the best possible start in life without putting their safety at risk? Luckily, a London couple have come up with an answer.
Husband and wife team Douglas and Estelle Lloyd are the brains behind Azoomee, a London startup providing a safe way for children to watch, learn and play online.
“Azoomee is a new app which provides a safe way for children to watch videos, play games and listen to audiobooks online,” Douglas told BQ.
“The app is available via the Apple Store for most Apple devices and also on Google Play for most Android phones and tablets.
“It boasts hundreds of videos, games, audio books and even an art studio where children can design and draw stuff. It also has a secure messaging app.
“We’re giving children content that’s good for them that is fun and interesting, it’s a little different and really helps them learn and progress.”
When downloaded onto a phone or tablet, parents can easily lock it to the device to ensure their children are unable to access any other platform.
The app officially launched towards the end of March and has already proved a huge success after landing a lucrative deal with telecoms giant 02 in particular.
The deal, introduced to the couple through their charitable partner NSPCC, has seen the app installed on 02 tablets sold across its 473 UK branches.
“The Azoomee app has only been available since the end of March and has recently gained a lot of prominence through our deal with 02,” added Douglas.
“The 02 contract came about after just three months. It’s really extraordinary for a business of our age and size.
“The deal came around due to our partnership with the NSPCC. We donate a percentage of every subscription to the charity as our official charitable partner.
“02 and NSPCC were both looking at a way of assuring parents they could keep their children safe online and when they introduced us to 02, we really completed the triangle, it was the perfect fit!”
As serial entrepreneurs of 15 years, Douglas and Estelle have quite a strong track record in growing and scaling businesses and are expecting Azoomee to be their next success.
He said: “Estelle and I are serial entrepreneurs. We’ve already founded and sold one successful business and this is the second business we’ve co-founded.
“Our previous business was a media business in the renewable energy sector which we sold to a London Stock Exchange quoted media company.
“We have built businesses from scratch before, both of us have experience in media, finance and strategy, we’ve been entrepreneurs for the past 15 years.”
With this track record, it is of no real surprise that Azoomee has gained the traction it has so far, and having already raised £2.3m from private investors, the future looks bright for the company.
Douglas concluded: “Given the growth we’re seeing right now, we see this business being a £30-£40m turnover business in the next three to four years.
“We are also hoping to see the app become available in multiple languages throughout Europe and the US and maybe even Latin America.
“We’ve built the business from a scaleable point of view with technology that allows us to expand anywhere in the world. The only thing we would have to do is create local content and it would be good to go!”
The couple are also launching a crowdfunding campaign next month via Crowdcube in a bid to continue growing the company. Watch this space for further information…